The United States on Thursday welcomed the European Union’s new rules on fifth-generation internet but pressed them to go further after the bloc resisted Washington’s pressure to ban China’s Huawei directly.
The European Union, setting guidelines that mirror those announced a day earlier by Britain, said Wednesday that countries should ban telecoms operators deemed to be a security risk.
But it stopped short of banning Huawei, which Washington says is an arm of China’s communist regime, and left the decision to each country.
“We call on our European allies and partners to implement the EU recommendations by adopting strong, risk-based security measures that exclude high-risk suppliers from all parts of their 5G networks,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
Pompeo reiterated the US determination to bar Huawei and fellow Chinese company ZTE, saying both were “subject to the direction of the Chinese Communist Party.”
“It is misguided to think that the risks associated with installing equipment from suppliers subject to control by authoritarian regimes with a track record of malign cyber behavior can be mitigated,” Pompeo said.
Despite US pressure, Huawei has been widely embraced in much of the world, including in parts of the European Union, in part for its competitive price.
It is one of the few companies capable of building 5G networks and is widely viewed as providing the most advanced option at this point for the super-fast data transfers behind technologies such as self-driving cars.
Related: Huawei and Supply Chain Security – The Great Geopolitical Debate